Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Analytical Essay - To Kill a Mockingbird - A Question, A Thesis, Some Phrases


How has the author used language/stylistic features -  words, phrases, dialogue - to construct a character as a social outsider so that readers are positioned to feel sympathy for that character.


The reader does not initially feel sympathy for the character Boo Radley, but through the author's use of language and events, the reader is positioned to change his/her perspective to one of sympathy.


  • Boo Radley wears an aura of mystery because of Harper Lee's language.
  • At the beginning of the novel, Boo Radley is constructed as an 'outsider' through the children's perspectives. He is described thus: as 'a monster', 'he eats cats', 'he haunts the neighbourhood'.
  • After he saves the children's lives, he is portrayed as 'innocent', 'gentle', 'kind', 'protective of children.'
  • The reader's perspective of Boo Radley changes through the events in the novel.
  • The author allows the reader to see Boo Radley as the 'malevolent' figure, a picture painted by the words of the children, Jem, Scout and Dill.
  • This changes the reader's position as the author creates sympathy for a man previously seen as an 'outsider'.

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